What Is Side Out In Volleyball?

Are you curious to know what is side out in volleyball? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about side out in volleyball in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is side out in volleyball?

Volleyball is a fast-paced and exciting team sport that involves two teams trying to score points by sending a ball over a net and into the opponent’s court. If you’re new to the game, you may have heard the term “side out” being used during a match. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the world of volleyball and explore what “side out” means, its importance in the game, and how it affects the flow of play.

What Is Side Out In Volleyball?

In volleyball, “side out” is a crucial concept that refers to a team successfully regaining the serve or earning the right to serve. This occurs when the receiving team fails to score a point or loses possession of the serve to the serving team. In essence, it marks the transition from defense to offense and vice versa.

Here’s a breakdown of how “side out” works in volleyball:

  1. Serving Team: The team that has the initial serve (often determined by a coin toss or a rally) is referred to as the serving team. They start the game with the first serve and have the opportunity to score points.
  2. Receiving Team: The opposing team is the receiving team. Their primary goal is to receive the serve, set up an attack, and send the ball over the net to the serving team. If they succeed in scoring a point (by sending the ball into the opponent’s court in a way that the opponents cannot return it), they earn a point and the right to serve.
  3. Scoring: In volleyball, a point is scored on every rally, regardless of which team serves. A point is awarded when the ball lands in the opponent’s court, goes out of bounds, or when the opponent commits a violation (e.g., a double hit or a net violation).
  4. Rotation: Teams rotate clockwise after each side out, which means players change positions on the court. This rotation ensures that players take turns serving and playing in different positions.
  5. Continuous Play: Volleyball is a dynamic and continuous sport. Teams continue to alternate serving, attempting to score points, and gaining side outs throughout the match. The first team to reach a set number of points (usually 25 or 21) with a two-point lead wins the set.

Importance Of “Side Out” In Volleyball

“Side out” is fundamental to the flow of a volleyball match for several reasons:

  1. Transition: It marks the transition between offense and defense and vice versa. The team that successfully side outs gains the opportunity to serve and take the offensive role.
  2. Scoring: Points are earned during both teams’ serving rotations. Side outs determine which team gets the chance to serve and score points.
  3. Rotation: Rotations are essential for fair play and ensure that all players on a team have an opportunity to serve, attack, and play defense.
  4. Strategy: Teams often have specific strategies for serving and receiving to maximize their chances of side outing their opponents.


In volleyball, “side out” is a pivotal concept that reflects the dynamic and competitive nature of the game. It’s the moment when teams shift roles from serving to receiving or vice versa, and it plays a crucial role in determining which team has the upper hand during a match. Understanding the concept of “side out” is essential for both players and fans, as it enhances the appreciation of this thrilling team sport.

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Why Do People Yell Sideout?

Before rally scoring, “side-out” referred to when a team won a rally but did not have the serve. The NCAA switched to rally scoring in 2001, making the term “side-out” obsolete. Volleyball teams still use it as a motivational phrase on defense.

What Does Side Out Mean?

noun. ˈsīd-ˈau̇t. : the termination of a team’s right to serve (as in volleyball)

Is Side Out Scoring Still Used In Volleyball?

The Adoption of Rally Scoring

Rally scoring was officially adopted in 1999. The shift from side out scoring to rally scoring was primarily made to make the average length of volleyball matches more predictable, as well as to make them more spectator- and television-friendly.

Why Do They Yell Short In Volleyball?

“Short” is another popular term in the sport of volleyball. Actually, it’s used by volleyball players to indicate so called short serve. It’s no surprise that when short serve is performed the ball usually doesn’t go to back row players.

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